Ironman 70.3 World Championships: Alistair Brownlee and Lucy Charles win silver

Lucy Charles
Lucy Charles is a former Great Britain swimmer and only learned to ride a bike in 2014

Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee and Lucy Charles both finished second in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

Brownlee, 30, took silver in the men's race behind Germany's Jan Frodeno, also the 2015 champion, in a time of three hours 37 minutes 41 seconds.

Charles, 24, clocked four hours four minutes 59 seconds, less than four minutes behind Daniela Ryf, who became champion for a record fourth time.

The event consists of a 1.2-mile swim, 60-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run.

It is half the distance of the full Ironman in Hawaii which gives its name to these long-distance triathlon competitions.

Despite wet conditions in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Brownlee set a blistering pace during the bike section, which he led for the majority of the ride.

But he was caught on the run by Frodeno and defending champion Javier Gomez, with Frodeno stretching clear with three miles to go to win by one minute 11 seconds.

It was amazing - Charles

In the women's race, Charles swam away from the rest of the field in Nelson Mandela Bay, building a lead of one minute 24 seconds over a chase group of nine women that included eventual champion Ryf and Germany's Anne Haug, who finished third.

Charles and Ryf swapped the lead several times over the 90km bike ride, opening up a gap of more than five minutes on the first chase group, before Ryf's superior run saw her pull away to win.

"I thought it was going to come down to a foot race and I felt pretty good on the run today - it was pretty much a personal best," said former Great Britain swimmer Charles, who clocked one hour 20 minutes 37 seconds for the run.

"It was a pretty good day. I kind of wanted to tough it out from the gun - that's how I like to race, from the front - so I was pretty happy to manage to stay with Daniela when she caught me on the bike.

"So yeah, really happy all round. It was amazing."

The 24-year-old will next compete at the full distance Ironman World Championships, which take place in Hawaii on 13 October, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.

Charles finished second at the event last year behind Ryf.

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